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twangster

Adventure OTS, 13 Night Snowbird Migration Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale Oct. 8, 2018

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Interesting enrichment talk the morning of our last sea day.  "How it Works, The Story of Royal Caribbean Voyager Class of Ships" presented by Bill, our Hotel Director.

This is the stuff that @Matt trivia is made of...

Adventure has an "air draft" of 208' depending on loading.  Antennas exceed that a few feet.  Depth numbers are painted on the side of the ship and every day in port a junior officer must record them in a log to indicate how deep the ship is sitting in the water.

Adventure gained ~3 1/2 tons with her make overs.  Originally ~135,000 GT she is now 138,279 GT.   The new cabins on deck 12 and slides have dramatically impacted her top speed.  The original deployment plan for Voyager class in Canada/NE was planned 5 years ago taking into account the top speed of 23- 24 knots.  With the change in aerodynamics they discovered this summer that isn't possible anymore, now she tops out around 20-21 knots.  

There are a number of guest capacity figures.  Max double occupancy is often quoted but Adventure's "SOLAS" capacity is actually 4,000 exactly.  That's the certified capacity based on Safety Of Life At Sea regulations.  Twice this summer she reached that number.  Her double occupancy number is 3,348.  This voyage has 3,280.  This is voyage 888 as indicated on the card provided with the sparkling wine in my cabin.

With 5 diesel generators (DG) or what most folks call "engines" they normally cruise on 3 or 4 DGs.  One DG typically is used for hotel operations or guests purposes versus propelling the ship in the water.  When top speed is needed they kick in the 5th DG.  Depending on conditions that typically gains them an extra 1 to 2 knots of speed but with a 20% increase in fuel consumption.  

The bow thrusters are the same on all Voyager and Freedom class ships.  During the scheduled 5 year dry dock rotation the propellers of some of those are removed and replaced with extra one on hand.  They are sent out for refurbishing and then installed in the next Voyager/Freedom class ship that dry docks.  This cycle continues endlessly ship after ship swapping blades.

The tenders in Bar Harbor cost them around $10k each for the day.  

Lifeboats must be exercised monthly and they do crew life boats drills every 90 days where they must fill a life boat to its capacity in 10 minutes, 147 on this ship, 370 on Oasis.  When Oasis originally came over on it's transatlantic a life boat was damaged.  They had to remove 370 guests from the next few sailings until that life boat was fixed.

Original project name for Voyager class was Project Eagle.  Radiance was Project Radiance,  Oasis was Project Genesis.  Quantum was Project Sunshine.   

When Portofino was added as a specialty restaurant years ago, they neglected to include a galley for it.  They later consumed the nearby flower shop to create a galley for Portofino.  

Back when Johnny Rockets was free they would do 1,700 guests at lunch with a 2 hour wait.  That led to a charge being imposed to manage crowds.  The original charge was $3.25.  

The Verrazano-Narrows bridge sags in the summer due to heat.  In the winter there is an extra few feet of clearance.  Adventure clears with around 14' of clearance.  In theory Oasis could fit under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge if they lowered the stacks for each passing.  Since deployment, the stacks on Oasis have permanent equipment installed at the top of the stacks and they are no longer retractable without removing the permanent equipment used for scrubbing. 

While most ships in the fleet are registered in the Bahamas, Brilliance sails under a UK flag so that they can operate the fleet in the EU and that one ship changes the taxation for all sailings.  One ship is flagged in Malta.

Over the last couple of years Canada has created a whale zone that is 200 miles long.  If a whale is spotted and the whale zone is declared "occupied"  the ship must reduce speed to 10 knots.  This impacts arrival times at ports of calls.

New GPS technology on board has improved accuracy from a meter to mere millimeters.

We lucked out in Bar Harbor.  Recall the weather worsened that day.  The next day Serenade couldn't tender in Bar Harbor but still had to clear U.S. Customs.  Everyone had to get up and be processed by CBP officials who rode out on the pilot boat.

In the rumor department, Super Oasis is in the works, an improved version much like Quantum Ultra.

When in Europe, ships are still reloaded out of Florida.  It's a 6 week order cycle when operating in Europe compared to a 2 or 3 week ordering cycle to supply a ship based in Florida.

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36 minutes ago, twangster said:

They had to remove 370 guests from the next few sailings until that life boat was fixed.

Wonder what the pecking order was on that one? 

37 minutes ago, twangster said:

In the rumor department, Super Oasis is in the works, an improved version much like Quantum Ultra.

This makes me so excited!

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@GoodSmith see above.  Case in point.  Walking encyclopedia.  How does one go to a cruise presentation on the 12th day of a cruise and retain all that info???

I thought he was taking notes during the presentation :6_smile:
But very interesting info indeed!

Looking forward to Port Canaveral summary.

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Day 12 - Evening

Dinner menu

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In the Viking Crown Lounge the food and beverage team was doing a presentation for us.

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Dinner in the Windjammer.

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Main theater entertainment wasn't working for me.

To the pub!

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Dancing in Boleros.

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At 10:30pm the Quest was on...

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No words.

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As the saying goes... "What happens at the Quest, ends up on the internet"

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Late night music.

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Finally, in the realm of unicorns and pink elephants, the diamond lounge was empty.

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23 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Wonder what the pecking order was on that one? 

I don't think they actually remove guests after they have already booked. They probably restrict the number during the booking process.

EDIT: Actually I may be wrong, by the time the lifeboat broke the ship might have been fully booked for the next few sailings.

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Day 13 - Port Canaveral

I felt the subtle rumble of bow thrusters and ventured up to deck 12.

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The familiar sight of a ship with a mouse problem.

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The sun was thinking about rising.

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Good morning Canaveral, we have arrived.

No plans today, I was just here for my Enchantment cruise and I'll be back after Thanksgiving for another cruise.

I'll probably head down to Grills for a beer in the afternoon.

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Day 13 - Port Canaveral, continued...

Crew life raft drill in the pool this morning.  New crew and every two years crew are required to go through several safety drills and be certified.  In this case they were learning how to right an upside down life raft.  

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My day started off slowly.  I relaxed and enjoyed a lighter ship with a few hundred guests having disembarked and many others on excursions.

I headed down to Grills bar for a beer and a bite to eat.

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Grills is that patio you see right behind the ship for the many Royal ships that use this berth. 

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I didn't have a plan really, I just walked around the port area.  Here is a fishing charter just back with the crew cutting up their catch for them.

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Continuing the history theme experienced in previous ports, here is some history for Port Canaveral.

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A view across to the Disney Fantasy and Carnival Breeze.  

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Yep, we are not in Boston any more.

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We used terminal 1 today, the same terminal that Oasis uses as her current home port terminal.

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It was hot and humid and back on board it was time... Kraken Lavaflow.

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In other news... I mentioned earlier that Kone contractors were on-board doing elevator upgrades.  For anyone familiar with Voyager and Freedom class ships there are four elevators that service the Viking Crown Lounge.  Two of the four elevators have been down for the entirety of this voyage as they are upgraded.  With over 1,200 diamond lounge eligible (plus suite guests) trying to reach deck 14 the two remaining in service elevators have been crazy busy. Finally, a sign of life as the displays are coming to life for the two being upgraded.  They aren't in service yet but it must be close.

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At 4pm the slides and flowrider opened.  No pictures as I was in slide mode and managed several runs having them all to myself.  I was on Mariner a few weeks ago and tried those new slides.  I have to say Adventure's slides are faster.  These slides also have a distinct drop at the very end that dump you into the trough of the watery landing zone absent on Mariner.  Sorry Mariner, Adventure's slides are better.

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Day 13 - Port Canaveral, continued...

Sail away.

At 6:35pm the Captain announced we were waiting for two more guests.  All aboard was at 6:30pm.

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Finally the Captain signaled our intention to depart with a blast of the ship's whistle and we were off the pier.

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Several mildly interested spectators looked on.

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Our escort this evening courtesy of the local Sheriff's department.

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People were out enjoying the local beach.

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As we continued towards our final stop the local pilot boat positioned to pick up the pilot.

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Hail to the pilots!  Day after day, ship after ship, they guide us safely into their home port.

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The Carnival Sunshine was making her way in, now in the darkness of the night.

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Final night festivities were underway.

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Our progress so far...

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We've crossed the 3k milestone.  Total cruise distance so far... 3,074 nm.  

Final MDR menu

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Day 14 - Port Everglades

Disembark day 🙁

I woke around 5am, showered and finished packing my last minute items.  Like I always do, I'm using self-assist so all my luggage is with me. 

Our progress...

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Total cruise distance 3,211nm.  

Around 6:20am I headed down to deck 4 and was directed into the theater to join the self-assist line.

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Shortly after 6:30am they started letting people off.  It took a few minutes for me to reach the security kiosk to be scanned off the ship at 6:45am.  CBP was fast, just a quick check of my passport and by 6:50am I was in a cab on the way to FLL airport.

By 7:05am I had luggage checked, through security and in the Delta Skyclub.

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Cruise Summary

Where did the time go?  It seems like we just boarded.  

Despite cooler temperatures to start the cruise it was all very enjoyable.  A little light rain at times but prepared with my rain coat it really didn't impact this journey.   

Every port we stopped in was unique and enjoyable.  It was a very different experience compared to a typical Bahamas or Caribbean cruise and different from an Alaska cruise as well.  I can see doing this snowbird migration again or even a round trip Canada/New England out of Bayonne.  

My interior cabin, 6535 was chosen for its location and quick access to the forward elevator lobby.  It's basically the first inside cabin forward of the elevators port side.  It was a quick trip down two decks to the outside deck four space and the helipad or a short ride in an elevator up to deck twelve.  Choosing an inside cabin saved me a shipload of money.   The forward elevators always seem less crowded on Voyager and Freedom class.

Adventure is a nice sized ship for this cruise.  All the advantages of Voyager class and recently AMPED.  I suppose a covered Solarium would have been beneficial in the cooler weather but I'm not sure I would want to trade down to a Radiance class ship to get it.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Radiance class but lacking a promenade and sports deck amenities they are a different experience.    

Sometimes when a port is skipped such as Sydney, NS, port fees and taxes are refunded for that port.  Not so on this journey.  According to the guest services manager, RCI HQ determined they undercharged taxes by mistake and therefore there would be no refund of any taxes and port fees associated with skipping Sydney for any guest on board.

Thirteen nights.  It seemed like a long cruise when I booked it but it went quickly and felt no different than a seven or eight night cruise.  Before I knew it I had that sinking feeling you get when you realize it's time to pack.

Next cruise - Later this week I fly to Barcelona to jump on the Symphony of Seas transatlantic!  This cruise was basically a practice transatlantic, North to South instead of East to West.  Symphony is one day shorter, just twelve days across the pond but absent of as many ports of call it's a longer distance.

I hope you enjoyed following along and I thank you for viewing.

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Awesome live blog - thank you once again for sharing with us!

Quick question disembarking at Ft. Lauderdale.  Did you happen to notice what flight time the Luggage Valet service was offered to?  Our flight leaves at 1:57, so we're heading out to explore Ft Lauderdale for a few hours before heading to the airport.  Let's just say having been traveling for 13 nights we actually have more than a carry-on, and I don't want to wheel my luggage around for hours.  

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2 minutes ago, KathyC said:

Awesome live blog - thank you once again for sharing with us!

Quick question disembarking at Ft. Lauderdale.  Did you happen to notice what flight time the Luggage Valet service was offered to?  Our flight leaves at 1:57, so we're heading out to explore Ft Lauderdale for a few hours before heading to the airport.  Let's just say having been traveling for 13 nights we actually have more than a carry-on, and I don't want to wheel my luggage around for hours.  

If I recall for FLL airport the earliest flight is 11am and the latest is 4pm but that varies slightly by airline.

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Just now, twangster said:

If I recall for FLL airport the earliest flight is 11am and the latest is 4pm but that varies slightly by airline.

That would be so awesome...crossing my fingers for JetBlue...my luck, it'll probably be raining that day and we'll just be stuck sitting in the airport anyway.  😄 Thanks!! 

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I haven't seen all the other blogs in this forum, but I can tell yours is by far is best. Thanks for a blog well done!

I know you won't be blogging Symphony transatlantic, but maybe you can throw a picture here and there every once in a while. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.

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I may have mentioned this before but I always try to sit on the left side of the plane when flying out of FLL airport for great views of Port Everglades  

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Adventure of the Seas on the left, Nieuw Amsterdam in the middle and Allure on the right.  The Carnival Conquest was also in port but not in the picture.  You can see how close Port Everglades is to FLL airport which is right above Allure.

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